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After years of false starts and many rings of development hell, The Crow appears ready to fly again.
Bill Skarsgard, who played Pennywise the Clown in the It horror movies, will star in the reboot of the supernatural revenge thriller that will be directed by Rupert Sanders, best known for helming Snow White and the Huntsman and Ghost in the Shell.
Longtime Crow steward Edward R. Pressman and Malcolm Gray, a co-producer on the 2019 Chadwick Boseman thriller 21 Bridges, are producing.
Crow was an indie comic written and drawn by James O’Barr in the late 1980s that told the dark tale of a man and his fiancee who are assaulted and killed by a gang after the couple’s car breaks down. The man is resurrected by a crow and exacts vengeance on those who took his life and the life of his love.
Skarsgard will play Eric Draven, the man on the revenge mission. Zach Baylin, who is coming off an Oscar nomination for penning King Richard, wrote the script.
The project is well into preproduction ahead of a June start date, with shooting to take place in Prague and Munich. The budget is in the $50 million range, and it does appear like the film will actually take flight.
Fans of The Crow, however, have plenty of reasons to be skeptical that this iteration won’t get derailed at the last minute, given the franchise’s infamous history. The first movie, released in 1994, was a critical and box office hit and gained a fervent cult following after the on-set death of star Brandon Lee.
A sequel, titled The Crow: City of Angels, starred Vincent Perez. It was released in 1996 and was followed by two more films, The Crow: Salvation (2000) and The Crow: Wicked Prayer (2005), with Eric Mabius and Edward Furlong as the respective leads. There was even a late-1990s TV series that starred Mark Dacascos. But since Wicked Prayer’s 2005 opening, the franchise has seen plenty of lift and drag.
Director Stephen Norrington (Blade) was involved with one reboot, while F. Javier Gutiérrez (Before the Fall) and actor Luke Evans worked on another. Corin Hardy (The Nun) took on the task of a reboot in 2017 and attached Jason Momoa to star, but both men left in 2018 after a clash over financial issues between producers and the distributor, clipping the project’s wings once again.
Skarsgard, who helped the It movies scare up over $1.1 billion at the worldwide box office, will be seen in the upcoming John Wick: Chapter 4 and is currently filming the action-fantasy Boy Kills World. Ironically, he voiced a character named Kro in Marvel’s 2021 movie Eternals.
Sanders developed a name as a commercial director adept at visual wizardry before making his feature debut with 2012’s Snow White and the Huntsman, a big-budget fantasy starring Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth. His 2017 outing, the adaptation of manga Ghost in the Shell, starred Scarlett Johansson.
Skarsgard is repped by WME, Magnolia Entertainment and Hirsch Wallerstein. Sanders is repped by CAA, Grandview and Independent Talent Group.
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